A 24-year-old woman has been charged with a Class 4 felony for falsely reporting a shooting Monday to Highland Park police.
Anastasia Volkova, of the first block of Inverrary Lane in unincorporated Deerfield, is accused of making the hoax call. Volkova allegedly claimed that a juvenile had shot his mother in a residence on the 1600 block of Ridge Road in Highland Park. Volkova had been employed by the family and was recently let go, according to police.
Highland Park Deputy Police Chief George Pfutzenreuter said the call came in at 5:52 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1 on the department’s non-emergency line. Officers from Highland Park, Lake Forest and Bannockburn responded to the “shooting in progress” and set up perimeters around the residence, he said. Meanwhile, dispatch personnel used databases to attempt to make contact with residents living at the address.
“They were able to ascertain that the family was in fact not there and was out at a restaurant in the suburbs,” Pfutzenreuter said. “Police checked the house and made sure nothing was going on at the house.”
Volkova was charged with disorderly conduct/filing a false police report. Her bond was set at $30,000 Wednesday and her next court date is Sept. 15.
Pfutzenreuter said the incident resembles a form of prank known to authorities as “swatting,” or calling in a false report to witness the “swat team” response.
“It’s inherently dangerous to go there in the first place. It diverts our resources unnecessarily for a call that doesn’t exist, for no reason,” Pfutzenreuter said.
“Depending on the circumstances, the officers have a heightened response level,” he said. “Somebody’s action or inaction could be misconstrued and we wouldn’t want to have that kind of event take place. Of course, we are all trained to respond appropriately, but you never know. There are a lot of inherent dangers.”